In early June 2020, PRT launched CAPPTIVE with an appeal in Inside Time and Converse—prison newspapers—and on National Prison Radio. We asked people to tell us how the prison was managing under Covid-19.

Our fourth briefing from our series of CAPPTIVE project builds on self-reported experiences of 18 women in prison during Covid-19, and is supported with findings from families, prison staff, Independent Monitoring Boards, voluntary sector agencies, and social media. We have also drawn on the Short Scrutiny Visits (SSV) by HM Inspectorate of Prisons.

Women’s input to CAPPTIVE ranged over the period from May 2020 to May 2021. We lack their feedback on the current situation, as women’s prisons begin to open up regimes and allow for social visits. We are publishing this report because, as regimes recover, we believe it is important to take into account the deprivations women in prison experienced for over a year during the most restrictive time under Covid-19. The potential for a return to a very restricted way of life is real, and plans for recovery should have the clearest possible account of what that would mean for the women affected.